We’re en route to snowy Chicago today and I’m trying to think warm thoughts. Yes, I grew up there, but I’m such a baby about winter. Scraping car windows, not being able feel my fingers & toes – I did it for years & it’s just not my thing.
BUT I’m excited to spend a little time with my family, eat some good food, and probably cook a little. On the menu, obviously, will be warm food like this hot & hearty vegetable-packed soup.
This is my take on minestrone although it’s a little less than traditional – it’s in between a soup and a stew, and it’s a little heavier on the vegetables and lighter on the noodles. It’s packed with good things like cauliflower, kale (and kale stems!). It’s especially good with the hemp seed & kale pesto I posted yesterday.
Sending warm soupy vibes!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 4 kale leaves, stems chopped, leaves torn
- 2 to 3 cups small cauliflower pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup white wine (or a splash of balsamic vinegar)
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- bundle of fresh thyme & rosemary (about 4 sprigs each)
- 6 cups vegetable broth (I like the Whole Foods brand)
- 4-6 oz. gluten free fusilli, elbow or shell pasta
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Kale & Hemp Seed Pesto
- chopped parsley (optional)
- parmesan or pecorino cheese (optional, skip if vegan)
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the kale stems, cauliflower, and garlic. Season with more salt and pepper and cook 2 more minutes. Add the wine, stir, then add the tomatoes. Simmer for 8 minutes.
- Add the herbs, broth, pasta and chickpeas and another few pinches of salt. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto.
- Season the soup to taste. Before serving, stir in the kale until wilted.
- Serve soup with pesto and chopped parsley, if using, on the side.